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20.04.11

Historic county flag flies in London

Shropshire Council has become the latest to have its flag hoisted above the offices of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The initiative by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is designed to celebrate the important role that counties play in the nation’s cultural heritage.

Shropshire became a unitary authority in 2009 when the former county council was merged with the former district-level councils of Shrewsbury & Atcham, North Shropshire, Oswestry, South Shropshire and Bridgnorth.

Neighbouring Telford & Wrekin, historically part of the county of Shropshire, has been a completely separate unitary authority since 1998.

The Shropshire county flag (pictured) is flying outside the Department’s Eland House in Victoria, London.

The first flag raised as part of the initiative, in September, was the county flag of Essex – Pickles’ home county.

He said: “The Union Flag rightly has pride of place outside the Department but I’m delighted it will now be flown alongside our traditional and ceremonial county flags.

“England’s counties continue to form an important part of our cultural and local identity in this country and many people remain deeply attached to their home county - both the traditional ‘cricket’ counties and in some cases their more modern administrative successors. This sense of pride and shared identity is one of the things that binds communities together and it's right that the Government department responsible for communities and local government should be actively recognising the important role they play.”

Leader of Shropshire Council, Councillor Keith Barrow added: “We’re delighted that the Shropshire flag will be flying in London this week. Shropshire has a long and rich heritage, which people who live here are understandably proud of. As a council we are working hard to support our communities and improve people's lives now and for the future.”

The Shropshire flag being flown this week has been loaned by the Association of British Counties at no charge to the taxpayer.

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